Jan 8 (Reuters) - Abercrombie & Fitch on Monday raised its forecast for fourth-quarter and annual net sales, after strong demand for its apparel brands during the key holiday shopping period.

The company and Lululemon Athletica, which also raised its sales forecast for the period, benefited from a focus on fresh styles.

The retailers also maintained healthy profit margins as limited inventory overhang helped them sell at full-prices in a discount-heavy holiday shopping season.

"The Abercrombie & Fitch women's business is expected to achieve its highest-ever fourth quarter sales complemented by an acceleration in men's growth," said CEO Fran Horowitz.

Abercrombie's shares, which more than tripled in 2023, clawed back some ground to trade down about 1% before the bell.

The Gilly Hicks parent now expects fourth-quarter net sales to rise in the high teens percentage range, compared with its previous forecast of net sales up low double digits.

The apparel maker bumped up its annual net sales forecast to growth in the range of 14% to 15%, from its earlier expectation of 12% to 14%.

(Reporting by Juveria Tabassum; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)